It is inconceivable to me that in this great country, nearly two and a half centuries after the founders declared independence “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence”, that a man of faith must consider political fallout lest he be labeled a bigot, a zealot or even worse…a Christian. It’s a good thing that Phil Robertson is not a politician. If he was, he would very likely be making apologies for his faith and strong Christian values.
Like it or not, Phil Robertson is real. He willingly shares his opinion with anyone and everyone who wants to know. He doesn’t hunt you down and cram an ideology of hate down your throat and you can bet your pension he didn’t seek out Drew Magary or GQ to further any kind of perceived anti-gay agenda. Robertson gave an honest apolitical personal opinion based on widely known, biblically documented principles of the Christian faith to which he has dedicated his life. The fact that this is offensive to some of those who don’t agree with him, many who do not watch Duck Dynasty in the first place or have any interest in doing so, should not be a terrible shock. It should also not surprise anyone that many critics have been hoping for someone to pull the old McChrystal routine on the “bible-thumping” Duck Dynasty patriarch. What does surprise me is that so many Robertson supporters didn’t expect the typical gang warfare tactics of the liberal media and the unforgiving nature of the “couldn’t make the cut it in the real (liberal) media” blogosphere. Interesting that the very mob pointing out Robertson’s “stereotyping” and “lies” have also been quick to highlight his bizarre appearance and lifestyle. This is a reference to his beard, his passion for hunting and his very public expression of faith. Shame on him for being so real. Right?
Robertson has never expected everyone to agree with his beliefs but it doesn’t keep him and tens of millions of other Americans like him from sharing them. No matter how inarticulate his southern style may come across, you will never see a hint of hate toward any man or woman no matter how hard you look for it. He embodies the idea of love your brother but speak your mind. To differ with him is ok…to rally the troops and lynch him is…well, unfortunately, typical American politics. But the issue in debate is very controversial and no matter what poll you read, there is always going to be another that counters it with respect to public opinion, leaving our country sharply divided.
Rick Warren said it best…
“The problem is that tolerant has changed its meaning. It used to mean ‘I may disagree with you completely, but I will treat you with respect. Today, tolerant means – ‘you must approve of everything I do.’ There’s a difference between tolerance and approval. Jesus accepted everyone no matter who they were. He doesn’t approve of everything I do, or you do, or anybody else does either. You can be accepting without being approving.”
The Gay and Lesbian community and many of their supporters have collectively condemned Robertson’s comments as divisive and hate speech… and as much unconditional love as I have for many of them who I consider friends and family, I will have to respectfully disagree, not simply on the basis of my own Christian faith but on the increasingly absent principle of common sense. Phil Robertson is no hater. You want to hunt a hater? Go hunt Fred Phelps.
Activists, celebrities and , yes, even politicians have assembled the troops and collectively applauded A&E for distancing themselves from Robertson as though the decision to do so was based on principle rather than simple economics. How courageous of them.
As for GQ…just as their younger and typically more provocative brethren at Rolling Stone have done time and time again, they played the middle perfectly and are laughing themselves vicariously, all the way to the bank.